Interview with Erik Hanberg

When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first “novel” when I was in the seventh grade. It was 80 pages long and I thought it was a masterpiece. I was going to be the first middle-school bestseller. I later wrote a sequel in eighth grade. Then another sequel in ninth grade. Finally I realized I had an actual novel, and put it together as a single book.

Since then, I’ve written another ten novels, and two non-fiction books. It's helpful to know that even at a young age, I'd finished a novel. When I get stuck, my inner critic tells me, “You finished a novel in middle school, why can’t you finish this one now?” It propels me forward.

Also, I was a pretty nerdy kid.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm really interested in the line between public and private. I'm an elected official in my hometown of Tacoma, so I have to be comfortable with the idea that a lot of information about me is out there.

The idea of a world where there is no privacy seemed fascinating to me. We seem to be on a path to that already, so I really wanted to poke around that idea.

That's when I came up with ... the Lattice. A kind of super-Internet that knows the exact location of every atom in the solar system. Because of its immense knowledge, people's privacy is entirely stripped away. Of course, many people hate the Lattice, as it's destroyed their personal lives. On the other hand, there's virtually no crime, because it's 100% certain you will be caught.

The tension between the good and the bad sides of the Lattice drive the story, through the main character, Byron Shaw, who is in charge of defending it. At some point he starts to wonder "Does the Lattice deserve to be saved?"
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love that I get to live with characters for months or even years. It sounds weird, but there's an intimacy there. I like knowing them, knowing secrets about them that will never be in the book.

There's a great joy in telling their story.
What do your fans mean to you?
I wouldn't have written so much without having fans and readers. It's humbling to know that people actually want to read my stories. When things get hard during the writing process, knowing that someone is excited to read it is the only thing that keeps me going.

When I first self-published in 2010, that was the part I never saw coming. I've written so much faster since then. So thank you to my readers!
What are you working on next?
I'm working hard on the sequel to "The Lead Cloak!"

"The Lead Cloak" is the first book of a trilogy--but don't worry, it's a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end. But there's still more to tell. I'm working hard on "The Iron Harvest" and I'm very excited about how well it's going.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Reginald Hill and his British mysteries. Kim Stanley Robinson, Ray Bradbury, and Frank Herbert (from my hometown of Tacoma) in sci-fi. Even Charles Dickens (really, I love his stuff). I'm reading Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and am thoroughly enjoying them.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm all over the place. My wife and I run a boutique marketing company that keeps us busy. I'm also elected to the park board of Tacoma, so there's that too. Plus, I'm a father to a great daughter. So yeah ... pretty busy.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Unfortunately yes. I traced cartoon characters like Fred Flintstone and Yogi Bear and had an adventure story about them trying to find a missing friend. I think it was basically like Sesame Street's "Follow That Bird." But it was the kick to start writing that I needed!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Ooooh. Five books.

Glen David Gold's "Carter Beats the Devil" is a great yarn, with fascinating history behind it.
Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" is the same way.
Penelope Lively's "Moon Tiger" is a beautiful read, although it's a bit hard to get into the structure.
I found Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove" very moving. it's a great Western and a great story about women.
I think I'll throw in the three books of the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson as my fifth choice.
Published 2013-11-02.
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Books by This Author

The Little Book of Boards: A Board Member's Handbook for Small (and Very Small) Nonprofits
Series: For Small (And Very Small) Nonprofits. Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 47,250. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Non-profit business
Are you new to a board and have no idea what’s expected of you? Do you know what a board’s six key responsibilities are? Do you know what your relationship with the Executive Director should be? If not, this book is for you. Perfect for any new board member—or for an entire board that is feeling lost—this book and its common sense approach will serve you every year you are on the board.
The Little Book of Likes: Social Media for Small (and Very Small) Nonprofits
Series: For Small (And Very Small) Nonprofits, Social Media. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 26,050. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Non-profit business
The Little Book of Likes is dedicated to helping small (and very small) nonprofits build an audience on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This short guide leads Executive Directors and nonprofit marketing managers through the ins and outs of a simple social media strategy that is effective and sustainable.
The Little Book of Gold: Fundraising for Small (and Very Small) Nonprofits
Series: For Small (And Very Small) Nonprofits, Fundraising. Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 38,060. Language: English. Published: June 18, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Non-profit business
The Little Book of Gold is dedicated to helping small (and very small) non-profits unlock their fundraising potential. Avoid common pitfalls and get tips on proven methods that work. This short guide helps new Executive Directors, active board chairs, and other key staff in charge of fundraising to learn the basics of professional and sustainable fundraising.